The French were really in a “no win” situation when it came to deciding between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen.

It’s honestly pretty amusing to see how some friends of mine are going ape over Le Pen’s loss, wailing that France is lost because a so-called “centrist” was elected president. Those freaking out need to have a reality check. National Front has only two members in the Parliament, so it’s not like Le Pen could have rammed her policies through Parliament (specifically the leaving NATO and EU, or the immigration policies). She would have also been hamstrung in picking a Prime Minister because Parliament can dismiss the PM if they don’t like them. Le Pen would have the power to dismiss the National Assembly, but that probably would have completely backfired (Jacques Chirac tried this in 1997 and failed horribly).

But Le Pen and Macron’s policies are not necessarily that different from an economic standpoint. Take a guess which presidential candidate wrote this (via Google Translate)?

A fiscal policy that supports the purchasing power of the French .

Delete the tax for 4 French out of 5, because it is the most unfair of taxes…
Unblock the equivalent of a 13th month for SMIC employees by removing employee contributions and illnesses from employees, and increasing the activity premium by 50%.
A tax policy that promotes the competitiveness of companies .

Transform the tax credit for employment competitiveness (CICE) into a permanent contribution reduction for companies. In addition, an effort will be made to eliminate any employer burden on the SMIC, which will enable a company to save more than 700 euros per year for a SMIC employee compared to today.
Reduce the corporate tax rate from 33.3% to 25% over the five-year period.

A massive shift from saving to the productive economy.

Create a single flat-rate levy for all income from movable capital.
Replace the ISF with a property tax.
Strengthen ecological taxation, with the gradual alignment of the taxation of diesel on gasoline and the increase of the carbon tax.

Now guess which candidate wrote this. Again, Google Translate:

44 Reducing the administrative and tax complexity of small and medium-sized businesses: counter
Dedicated (social, fiscal and administrative), generalization of the “titre emploi service”
Company “to the TPE, replacement of the account difficult, inapplicable in its form
A new system based on a personalized evaluation through
An occupational medicine that will be reconstituted. The penalty will be compensated
By an increase in pension annuities.

45 To encourage hiring, reduce the number of administrative obligations
At the social threshold of 50 employees and merge the staff representative institutions
Between 50 and 300 employees (excluding trade union representation) into a single structure
Retaining the same skills.

46 Lowering the payroll taxes for small and medium-sized businesses in a clear and meaningful way
Amalgamating all social security relief schemes in a way that
(The CICE will be transformed into relief of charges and will enter the
device). This will be conditional on continued employment.

47 Maintain the system at a reduced rate of 15% of the corporate income tax for
SMEs and create an intermediate rate of 24% (instead of 33%) for SMEs.
Fluidify the transfer of businesses by granting the total exemption
Of shares and shares of SME-SMI after seven years.

They sure seem similar, don’t they? The former is Macron, while the latter is Le Pen.

How about here?

125 Applying economic patriotism to French agricultural products for
Immediate support to our peasants and fishermen, especially through the
(State and local authorities).

126 Transforming the Common Agricultural Policy into French Agricultural Policy.
Guarantee the amount of subsidies whose criteria will be fixed by France and not
More by the European Union, with the aim of saving and supporting the French model
Of family farms.

128 Simplifying the daily life of farmers by stopping the explosion of standards
Administrative measures and encourage the settlement of young farmers through
Of tax deductions during the first years.

Versus this:

We will enhance the transparency of agricultural transactions by subjecting all land companies to SAFER control.
We will ensure the financing of land and operating capital by facilitating the use of porting tools: real estate leasing, progressive leasing, life annuity mortgage, etc.
We will support the installation of young farmers: in addition to the young farmer endowment (ADI), we will allow a loan of honor to the person without a guarantee of a maximum of € 50,000 with a delay of 2 years.

For farms, it is a saving of more than 1800 euros per year and per employee, when this is paid to SMIC for example, that they will be able to invest in new projects and equipment.

Le Pen is the former and Macron the latter.

Are y’all noticing a trend here?

Look at poverty…Here’s Macron:

Today, the complexity of social minima is such that many people who are entitled to it do not apply for it. Thus, almost one third of the potential beneficiaries of the RSA base do not touch it. Far from the fantasies about widespread social fraud, it is essential to fight against non-recourse, so that everyone has a sufficient income to live decently.

We will create a single and automatic social payment to combat the non-use of social assistance.
All benefits (APL, RSA, activity premium, etc.) will be paid automatically on the same day of the month, one quarter at the latest after the income recognition (up to two years To touch as quickly as possible what he is entitled to. More than 12 million households will be affected, ie almost half of the French population.

The adult disabled allowance (AAH), for a single person, is now about 800 euros per month: we will raise it to more than 900 euros per month.
We will reduce the poverty of the elderly. The minimum old age, for a single person, is now about 800 euros: we will raise it beyond 900 euros.

We will increase the amount of the activity premium by 50%.

This increase will correspond to an additional sum of nearly 80 euros per month and an annual gain of nearly 1000 euros for a person with smic. This increase in purchasing power will affect 2.4 million households, including 400,000 young people and 500,000 single-parent families.

Here’s Le Pen:

GUARANTEE SOCIAL PROTECTION
52 Set the legal retirement age at 60 with 40 contribution years for
Receive a full pension.
53 Remove Labor Law (known as El Khomri Law).
54 Gradually increase the ceiling of the family quotient, re-establish the half-share
Of widows and widowers and the tax exemption of the increase in retirement pensions
For parents of large families.
55 Implement a true natalist policy reserved for French families,
Restoring the universality of family allowances and maintaining their indexation
On the cost of living. Restore the free distribution of parental leave between the two
parents.
56 Strengthening intergenerational solidarity by allowing each parent to
100 000 euros to each child every five years (instead of
Fifteen years) and by raising the ceiling on non-taxable donations
Grandchildren at 50000 euros, also every five years.
57 Create a social shield for the self-employed by offering them the choice to join
To the general scheme or to retain the specificity of their scheme after a complete overhaul
Of the IHR which will operate on the basis of the quarterly income self-reporting.

But what about fighting terrorism? It’s true there are differences in certain policies (Le Pen supports revoking the nationality of any Frenchman or woman who goes to fight for ISIS, while Macron doesn’t), but both support increasing funding to the intelligence bureaus.

Here’s Le Pen:

33 Strengthening the human and technical capacities of internal intelligence services
External counterparts and create a single counter-terrorism agency directly linked to the
Prime Minister, responsible for threat analysis and operational coordination.

Here’s Macron:

A major effort is needed to strengthen the organization of intelligence.

We will jointly mobilize the Ministries of the Interior, Justice, Defense, Finance and Foreign Affairs.
We will coordinate and activate at the highest level these different functions around the counter-terrorism strategy.
We will improve the flow of information and intelligence between judicial authorities and intelligence services, clearly including the Ministry of Justice in the counter-terrorism strategy. For this, we must:
Allow access to data from current instructions when they can help prevent actions and search for terrorists
Provide judges with better, protected access to service data relevant to their investigative work and prosecution
We will strengthen the capacities of prosecutors and investigating judges, as well as prison information and its links with the ISB.
We will reshape the organization of intelligence.
We will create a special anti-Daech intelligence cell, permanent, with 50 to 100 agents, associating the main intelligence services, placed with the President of the Republic.
We will create a permanent staff to plan internal security operations. It will involve the services and staffs of the Ministries of the Interior and Defense, where appropriate with the participation of the Ministries of Transport, Health and Industry.

This is why the French were in a “no win” situation. Both candidates have extremely similar beliefs, except for differences in immigration (Le Pen wants to reduce immigration to 10K, while Macron keeps it 210K), NATO, and the EU. Macron isn’t “a centrist.” He’s more socialist than centrist. But Le Pen is just as socialist, but from a more nationalistic standpoint. This is a lot like last year’s election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, except Macron is a better candidate than Clinton.

It’s no wonder a lot of French stayed home. If I’d have been involved in this election, I would have too.